I am a 30-year-old woman who is supremely grateful for the quality reproductive health care and contraception I have received throughout my life. I am happily married, and my husband and I decided that we do not want to have children. Although this is widely seen as an unconventional choice for married couples, we feel strongly that it is the right choice for us, for reasons both practical and deeply personal.
We have wrestled with how best to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. I work for a nonprofit and my husband is a graduate student, so, needless to say, neither of us has much disposable income. We need birth control that won’t break the bank. I started with the birth control pill, and thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it has been free for the last several years. Still, we worried about the risk of getting pregnant at times when I might accidentally forget to take the pill or I wasn’t as disciplined about taking it at exactly the same time every day.
We decided on a longer lasting approach, and I got an IUD. Again thanks to the ACA, a procedure that could have cost up to $1000 was free. Now as we plan our own future, my husband and I are worried about the future of reproductive health care in the U.S. and the restricted access to contraception and legal abortion we may have in the future. I got my IUD in the fall of 2016, and it will last for approximately five years, but I fear that the damage that may be done to reproductive rights by the new administration could have longer lasting effects. I fear that in five years the options for preventing an unwanted pregnancy will be more limited and more expensive. I fear that the choice will not even be mine at all.